DoDMERB Situation?


10-Year Member
Jul 6, 2006
Alright, so I see that there's some good DoDMERB help on this board, so I figure I'll try to ask what my situation is.

I had some childhood wheezing, brought on by having a cold, from ages 9 to 13, very randomly. I had an inhaler for it and the wheezing would go away when id use it (very rarely). The LAST occurance was like a month after my 13th birthday, which sucks, because that seems to be the arbitrary cutoff.

My current DoDMERB disqualification is wheezing/RAD/asthma after age 13, so its not all that wheezing from ages 9-12 but that one occurance a month after my 13th bday.

Now, I have heard of people taking the methacholine test or whatever its called. Is this to rebute the DQ status and get it changed to PPQ, or is it just to obtain a waiver?

I have applications opened for the class of 2011 at USAFA, USNA, and USMA. I was actually a class of 2010 candidate for USMA, USCGA, and USMMA. Both USCGA and USMMA granted me waivers for my DQ, but USMA never attempted to because I wasn't ranked high enough in my district.

From the article I just read, it seems like USAFA is anal about anything, so that worried me into creating this thread. Are the academies the same in terms of what they will waiver? An admissions officer at USMA told me "i mean... if coast guard granted you a waiver... i don't see why west point wouldn't."



giggity giggity, giggity goo.

All the waiver authorities are separate, which means that one may grant a waiver while the others may not. Obviously, as you mentioned in your post, if you are not in the running for an appointment, the waiver authorities will not look at your medical package.

The fact that you recieved waivers for the last cycle from both USMMA and USCGA is a very positive thing. Both of those waiver authorities are tough when it comes to waivers. As for USAFA being more difficult to get waivers from, that hasn't been my experience over the past 5 years.

Based on what you have said concerning your history of asthma, there should be no reason for any of the SA's or ROTC programs not to grant your waiver (I have been wrong in the past though!). DoDMERB is black and white, while the waiver authorities have all the grey area in the world to play with. They look to see when the last attack was, when the last medication was prescribed, and what your current level of physical activity is.

I would not go out and get any tests at this point in time (the methacholine challenge test runs around $1000). DoDMERB more than likely will not change the disqualification since it is a history of, and you can't change your history.

My suggestion to you, when you are found disqualified by DoDMERB for the new cycle for the acadmies you've applied for, you will need to request the waiver in writing to USAFA (and to USCGA again), the others are all automatic. In your letter I would state in your words what happened as far as the asthma, how you were limited in your activities (if at all), when the last time you used the medication and what activities you are currently participating in. If the waiver authorities ask for additional testing that is when I would get what they ask for. You have plenty of time at this point, so there is no rush to go out and get it done.

I hope this helps!
do you think that this would be waiverable to make me PPQ? Like will it raise any problems at FC1? I'm in air force rotc right now and dont want to get to the point where im committed and then not be able to fly due to this DQ...

The aviation medical standards are different for each service, and since I have never dolt with any AF aviation issues I can't speak on that. For Navy Aviation, any history of asthma after age 13 is a disqualification, but can be waived if through testing there is no evidence of asthma or reactive airway disease. I would suggest speaking with someone who is familiar with AF aviation medical requirements.